Premier League approves VAR for the 2019-2020 season

Premier League clubs has approved the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) system and plans to use it from the start of the 2019-2020 season.

All 20 clubs have approved the plan, following the trials during last summer’s World Cup and the domestic trials in the FA Cup last season. The tech will also be used in the Champions League from next season.

Before the video technology – which will run on decisions like whether goals were offside, whether a penalty kick should be awarded and whether a direct red card should be shown – can come into play, the EPL must also gain approval from FIFA and the Football Association.

The league has been running non-live trials this season, amid a number of controversial incidents that may have been resolved if VAR was permitted for use during games. This past weekend, Southampton striker Charlie Austin called for VAR to be implemented after his goal was controversially ruled out for offside.

Related: What is VAR?

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey said: “I think it is a good thing. I know a lot of people are against it but we’ve got to embrace it now and move forward. We’ve seen this season a number of incidences that have been called wrong, especially this weekend when there were a number of goals ruled out when they shouldn’t have been.

“I think as long as we get the training and education right, and we get the right personnel, that’s the most important thing for me. The referees will still want to go out and get the key match decisions right, it’s very important that referees are not hiding behind the VAR – they’ve still going to be making these big calls correctly.”

Critics of VAR argue it slows down the game and, even with video evidence, some decisions have been incorrect. Supporters say the available technology should be used to ensure high-stakes matches are not affected by incorrect decisions.

Do you agree with VAR being added to Premier League games from next season? Or do you think it will ruin the flow of the game, as has happened in some cases? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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